[Sidefx-houdini-list] disappearing HDA parameters

Rangi Sutton rangi at kanuka.com.au
Wed Jun 25 03:57:45 EDT 2008

Jim Callahan wrote:
> Pablo Giménez Pizarro wrote:
>> For all the topics we have been covering in this thread can be  
>> splitted in 3 areas:
>> - Versioning
>> - Dependencies
>> - Asset managing and tracking
>> Every topic depend from the previous, is impossible to have  
>> dependencies tacking without a correct versioning and again is  
>> impossible to have a correct asset management without versioning and  
>> dependencies.
> I couldn't agree more.   But those concepts are equally valid for every 
> "asset" in a production whether its an OTL, Maya scene, Nuke script, 
> RenderMan shader or whatever.   These dependencies span across files 
> generated from more than one application.  And don't forget adding 
> knowledge about how to regenerate/rebake these things if they go stale.  
> That's why in my admittedly biased opinion this kind of thing is much 
> better handled outside any one particular application at a higher level 
> by something like our  application (Temerity Pipeline) or your own home 
> grown equivalent.  

Hey Jim, you are quite correct. But if I was to draw a graph of the
dependencies for a project here I would have some nice big broad strokes
collating inter-application dependencies.. then there would be a huge
dense chunk of haywire that would describe even one Houdini scene,
representing an order of magnitude more complexity than anything else here.

Because houdini loves assets.. it loves dependencies.. it encourages
their use from the small scale to the big. It wants you to re-use that
trick from the project four months ago that twiddles nurbs curves
around. It's lovely! I feel dirty if I lay down the same set of 5 sops
to accomplish the same trick twice.  But FFS does dependencies start to
hurt.. and versions...

Because Side Effects have made their workflow so dependent on these
little suckers that are so powerful but so slippery I don't think the
answer can be "sort it out yourself". Simply, not everyone can afford
Temerity or the programmer hours to build your own.

To describe it where it hurts.. New comers to houdini (oh those precious
newcomers) are gonna hit dependency/versioning hell way early. The week
after they experience HDA ecstasy  I think.  Suggesting they need
Temerity just to run Houdini is going to send them packing.

It doesn't need to be the final solution, but there needs to be *a*
solution packaged with Houdini and documented and tutorial-ed and
suggested as the way to do it. Even if that was it.. some documentation
on suggested procedure. Because even us folks who live and breath this
stuff argue about where to begin!

BTW, we use subversion here, for version control of all HDAs but not
dependency tracking. But at least you can trace back to when something
wasn't busted and figure out why did the busting. Any killer reason we
should consider Mercurial? Anyone made the switch? (I haven't watched
the Linus rant yet Drew...


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